BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31
BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31



Question 15-21

The text on the next page has seven sections, A-G. Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number, I-X, in boxes 15-21 on your answer sheet.

List of headings

i. Overcoming physical hardship

ii. A shared familial peculiarity   

iii. Rivalry amongst colony members                               

iv. Not what you might expect                                         

v. A contribution to make                                                

vi. Ability to overcome disease                                        

vii. An alternative means to the same end                    

viii. An Achilles’ Heel                                                           

ix. Of no apparent significance

x. How findings may be linked

15. Section A___________

16. Section B___________

17. Section C___________

18. Section D___________

19. Section E___________

20. Section F ___________

21. Section G ___________

An unprepossessing rodent with superpowers

A ­­­­­­­__________ Blind, fleshy, furless and buck-toothed, naked mole rats seem best confined to their subterranean existence. Contrary to popular belief they are neither moles nor rats. Furthermore, these confusingly-named mammals are more akin to insects such as wasps, termites and ants, in their social set-up, than to mammals.

B __________ Naked mole rats live in colonies numbering up to 300 numbers. Within the colony is a well-defined hierarchical system presided over by a breeding ‘queen’ attended by chaste subordinate workers and soldiers. With the exception of the related Damaraland mole rat, naked mole rats are the only vertebrates to have adopted this grid social and breeding structure.

C __________ Unlike insects sharing a similar hierarchical system, the queen establishes the hierarchical through physical rather than chemical means. Whilst pheromones are used in insect colonies to establish a caste system, physical aggression is the order of the day in naked mole rats. Subordinates members in the mole rat colony are physically pushed around by the queen. Junior mole rats respond with a physiological stress reaction, releasing stress hormones that suppress ovulation and sperm production, rendering the subordinates, celibate.

D __________ Living a subterranean existence can certainly be challenging. The lack of oxygen in such suffocating conditions should in theory be lethal for a small mammal. Increased amounts of carbon dioxide along with low oxygen levels normally cause build-up of tissue acids causing excruciating pain. The mole rat, however, possesses a gene that switches off the pain response, rendering it insensitive to pain. In addition, its brain neurons possess in increased ability to withstand low oxygen levels.

E __________ Whilst a resistance to oxygen depletion is explicable, the mole rat’s amazing ability to resist cancer defies explanation. Despite being exposed to lethal carcinogens in laboratory experiments, mole rats never succumb to cancer.

F __________ Obviously the significance of such physical attributes to medical science cannot be underestimated. Mole rat it would seem, has a pivotal role to play in the discovery of a future cure for cancer as well as in the development of more effective painkillers and understanding brain function.

G __________ Things are not all rosy for the super-rodent, however. Despite its obvious physical adaptations, it is incapable of varying its body temperature to a significant degree. Confined to underground passages, the mole rat rarely encounters dramatic temperature changes and so has lost the ability to adjust to temperature drops below 15c. As a result, mole rats will die when exposed to low temperature which other mammals can easily adapt to.

Read the text below and answer Question 22-28

What kind of headache is it?

Headache arising from stress are part and parcel of modern-day life. But are you misdiagnosing your headache as a tension headache when the root cause of your headache is entirely unrelated to stress? Our tendency to misdiagnose headache was revealed in a 2014 study that revealed ‘sinus’ headache were in fact migraines in 80% of self -diagnosed patients. Here is a brief run-down of the 5 major headache types to help you more effectively self-diagnose.

The most common type of headache is the tension headache. It is felt as a persistent ache or pressure around the head, in particular at the temples or back of the head and neck. Whilst uncomfortable, it rarely impedes the carrying out of daily activities. Nausea and vomiting are rare. Over-the-counter painkillers, like ibuprofen, results fast relief from pain.

Unlike stress-related tension headache, cluster headaches are cyclical in occurrence. Onset may be sudden, characterized by severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head. Headaches are often accomplished by a watery eye and nasal congestion or a runny nose on the same side of the face. During an attack, suffers feel unable to lie down, as someone with a migraine might. Cluster headache have no known origin but may have a genetic component. No cure is available but medication can reduce frequency and duration.

Headaches that are cured, but are in fact caused, by painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are termed rebound headaches. Overuse of these painkillers resulting in such headaches may be attributable to one of two factors: withdrawal of medication or the increased excitability of the brain induced through such medication.

For more incapacitating are migraines. Such headaches may endure for up to 3 days from onset. Prior to the attack, suffers may experience ‘aura’ which are visual distortions and hand numbness. Symptoms include sensitivity to light or sound, nausea and/or vomiting. Pain may be worsened by routine activities, which may in turn be impeded by the migraine itself.

Finally, a completely different category of headache is sinus headache since they arise from an infection. The sinus, in suffers, is inflamed from an infection which responds effectively to antibiotic treatment. Headache can be diagnosed by accompanying fever.

Question 22-23

Complete the sentence below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORD from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 22 and 23 on your answer sheet.

22. There is a ­­__________ headache as evidenced by results from a 2014 study.

23. Often __________ of your headache may be completely different to what you think

Question 24-28

Look at the following description and the list of terms in the box below. Match each description with the correct term A-E.

Write the appropriate letter A-E in boxes 24-28 on your answer sheet.

List of Descriptions

24. The headache is expected and proves debilitating when it arrives.

25. Onset is accompanied by extreme restlessness in this type of headache which may run in families.

26. Responds well to medication and is unpleasant rather than incapacitating.

27. Headaches are accompanied by a rise in body temperature.

28. Treating the headache by conventional method will only worsen symptoms.

List of terms

A. Tension headache                     

B. Cluster headache                       

C. Rebound headache                  

D. Migraine headache                   

E Sinus headache           


15. iv

16. ii

17. vii

18. i

19. ix

20. v

21. viii

22. tendency to misdiagnose

23. the root cause

24. D

25. B

26. A

27. E

28. C


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